Monday, 6 April 2009

Knees to the Head on the Ground

Ive just finished watching the Shinya Aoki VS Hayato Sakurai fight (shown below if anyone is interested in it). Shinya Aoki was probably the favourite to win since his grappling skills are second to none, but he got easily dominated on the ground, not by grappling but by well placed knee strikes to the face.

Dream, the organisation which held this fight allows knees to the head of a downed opponent. Is this a good thing or like the UFC, should knees to the head when someone is on the floor by abandoned. Below are a few reasons arguing why knees possibly could be a good idea.

1. Knee strikes to the head are allowed when standing so why should they be banned when on the floor. A fighter still has the ability to defend knees when on the floor in the same way when standing. By either covering up, body locking, catching/holding the leg striking or moving away, this should stop the possibility of any knee strikes which could do damage.

2. The referring in most MMA matches is second to none. Fights are usually stopped well before a fighter is seen to be in real danger, especially when on the floor. When a person is down and looks as though he/she is unable to continue defending themselves, the ref will instantly stop the fight.

3. By omitting knee strikes to the head when on the floor it is easy for fighters to become careless and lazy when guarding there head area. Hand strikes are thrown regularly on the ground, but most of the time, they are not defended at all as sometimes they are not powerful to do any damage, especially when wearing gloves. Knees on the other hand are and if one person starts throwing of few of them the person receiving them will soon realise that they hurt and they need to start defending themselves. Not only will this force one to defend themselves better but it will also force some action whilst on the floor instead of fighters using the time to rest which can be boring to watch buy some people.

4. By not allowing knees to the head when an opponent is down, some fighters can use this rule to there advantage. If fighter A knows that fighter B is a good knee striker, every time fighter B attempts one whilst standing, fighter A could just drop to his/her knees in order to prevent any punishment. Not only is this a form of cheating, it is NOT what the martial arts is about and by some, it can be some as cowardly.

Knees certainly are dangerous and can quickly end a fight, and by allowing knees to the head whilst on the ground, some fights could become very violent looking and may even finish too quickly which may leave some people cheated when watching them, especially those who pay to watch the fights. For these reasons, it may be worth keeping knees to the head when on the ground left out of MMA. One thing is for sure though, weather allowed or disallowed it will definitely be a hot topic for discussion for years to come.


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epicmartialarts said...

You say that while on the floor head shots from knee strikes are dangerous while hand strikes are not when directed to the head. I think someone should tell this to Fedor who has finished plenty of fights with hand strikes to the head, either directly by KO or by using them to set up submissions.

Similarly, a fighter may allow the odd head strikes through his defence in order to capitalise on an opening created as a result of the strike. He may be able to effect a submission in this way.

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